A KILMALLOCK teenager was one of 30 unsung heroes and the youngest to receive an outstanding contribution certificate at the National Volunteer of the Year awards.
Lucie Nagle, aged just 13, was chosen from over 300 nominees to attend the gala ceremony in City Hall, Dublin. But Lucie was even younger when she started fundraising for the Hope Foundation – a charity working with street and slum children in Kolkata, India.
Lucie was just 10 when she began selling Butlers chocolate bars locally. She then hosted a loom band summer camp for fellow children when she was 11 and has volunteered to help local transition years taking part in the Hope immersion programme at over thirty fundraising events
At just 13 Lucie is already a seasoned volunteer. She was presented with a certificate by Volunteer Ireland in recognition of her outstanding contribution as a volunteer in the International Development category.
But the first year pupil in Colaiste Iosaef is very modest about her achievements at such a young age. To date she has raised thousands of euro and plans to go on a Hope Foundation charity trip to India when she is in transition year.
“I definitely want to keep helping because it’s really fun and it definitely helps. You meet a lot of interesting people. The money we raise here in Ireland can do so much good in India,” said Lucie.
The founder of Hope Foundation, Maureen Forrest was the person who suggested nominating Lucie.
Proud mum Charlotte is a development education officer with Hope’s immersion programme so philanthropy is in the blood.
“Last year we had 28 students from Limerick fundraise and travel out to Kolkata with me. This year we have 69, it is a programme that is growing in Limerick city and county. But these students have to raise money for the street kids projects, hospitals, homes and crèches. They have to raise money before they are allowed to travel out because they have to have done something to help. We have 64 projects there,” said Charlotte, who adds that the support of Limerick people has been “unbelievable”.
“These are 15, 16-year-olds, they’re not even able to vote but they are able to go out there and make the world better - I think that is extraordinary. This year in Limerick the students sold €11,000 worth of chocolate bars. I strongly believe in volunteering in the community. Fundraising is not easy but when you see their faces when they meet the children in India it is just amazing.”